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The origins of SuperSpan are in horticultural structures. The system was first developed by Stuart Cannon of SuperSpan in 1981. There was a need for durable structures that could withstand wind forces, have large spacings between posts and be built high enough for access for large vehicles. Initially only a few were built, sales were slow and sceptics were many but a couple of strong wind events changed minds. SuperSpan structures withstood wind forces quite mysteriously. They seemed to absorb rather than resist big winds and it took a year of testing and many test structures to understand what was created. By 1985 sales had spread to Hawaii where the product was readily accepted and many structures were built there.

 

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There are many stories in the eighteen or so years of SuperSpan and the mid eighties were full of great excitment. Mike Williamson, the professor of Tropical Agriculture at the University of Hawaii became a good friend, as he is to many Hawaiians, and by persuading this company to build two very inexpensive structures for some farmers on the big island, he started many U.S. sales coming in for this company. The structures were built on the big island between the two volcanic peaks at Waimea. The winds there funnel through at a steady 25 to 30kts. The day we put up the structures it was blowing 35kts and it did provide some excitement. The sail to and from the big island on Mikes great boat was more exciting and never to be forgotten. Many structures were subsequently built in California and Florida with others scattered around.
Horticultural structures can be as diverse as you like.

Structures are built for palms in warm climates and azaleas in cool and many other crops besides. This means that a wide variety of shade cloth types must always be available.

 

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Where cooling is required, black shadecloth is always best. It provides cooling by absorbing heat and creating a convection current through the cloth. On a hot day, sitting on the roof is quite unbearable with a blast of warm air travelling upwards. Underneath is cool. Other factors such as location, crop, requirements for watering/drying and even wind exposure all affect the decision of which cloth? We are happy to assist with this decision but promise to only give advice when asked.

Panels can be manufactured to different sizes. The largest panel to date is 22 metres (70ft) square. This means there is a post every 22m. It is not always economical to go so large as forces rise considerably with the larger areas but having this flexibility means that structures can be built to suit planting or shelving layouts.

 

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Structures have been in existence since 1981 and there are two structures still standing from that time. When first developed the structures were expected to last 5 years but as with wind load, their lifespan has exceeded expectations.

 

Contact Us

  • Address:

    Victoria Australia

  • Telephone:+61 3 9588 2906
  • Fax: +61 3 9588 1666
  • Email:
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